Monday, February 27, 2006

MirrorMask - Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

According to Neil Gaiman's Blog, the novella of MirrorMask which is presented as if written by Helena Campbell, leaves out some things that are in the MirrorMask film, but also includes many things that aren't in the film, so if you read the book first some things will still be a surprise, and if you see the film first you'll still find some new things in the book. It's possible to read the first few pages of MirrorMask online at the HarperCollins website.

The hardback book is illustrated with drawings and photos from the film. It tells the story of Helena who wants to run away from the circus to experience real life. Her mother falls sick and is taken to hospital for an operation; Helena goes to stay with her Aunt Nan and whilst she's there she has a strange dream in which she swaps places with a girl who looks fairly like her but is a princess. She discovers that the only way that she can return to her own life is by finding and restoring the MirrorMask to the Good Queen, so she goes on a quest aided and/or hindered by an eclectic mix of people and creatures, including someone who calls himself Valentine. This is an intriguing tale that features the usual Gaiman-esque surrealism. I'm hoping to see the movie next week after it opens in the UK, and I shall be intrigued to see how it differs from the novella, and vice-versa.

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